I had a most fascinating customer in the store today. He teaches mortuary sciences at a local college. He's planning his next sabbatical. He spends every summer in a different culture learning about how they bury their dead.
Last year he spent the summer in Roma and most of his time in catacombs. This year, he's going to Jordan - specifically Petra & Amman.
How cool is that?!
I told him about my long running facination with the practice of "sin eating" in remote parts of the Appalachian Mountains. I also told him about the time we got trapped in the middle of an illegal walking funeral procession in Naples. And my plan to have my ashes divided up and distributed throughout the world by my friends and family.
He told me about some of the funeral preparation he has studied in various parts of the world.
I've always thought someone should write a really cool coffee table style book about the ways various cultures around the globe bury their dead. I've even got a name for it... "Following the Hearse".
He thought the idea had merit, too. I gave him my card and told him I knew the perfect publisher for him if he decided to give it a try.
In the meantime, he's on his way to Jordan for the summer. Lucky man.